Lens on the Past

Fresnel Lens


I took this image back in 2009 at the Point Arena Lighthouse.  I thought it would be interesting to take another look at this shot of a segment of the lens that was used in the reconstructed lighthouse after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

The Lens is called a 1st Order Fresnel Lens, and is over six feet in diameter and weighs more than six tons. The lens was made in France at a cost of $3.5 million and consists of 666 hand-ground glass prisms all focused toward three sets of double bullseyes. It was these bullseyes that gave the Point Arena Lighthouse its unique “light signature” of two flashes every six seconds.

In June 1977 the installation of an automated aircraft-type beacon on the balcony tower retired the historic Fresnel Lens forever.

I’ve been looking through my images on my newly installed iMac and saw the original color version of this subject.  I thought it might be interesting to see it in an even more abstract B&W rendition.


Equipment: Nikon D300; Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 len

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2 Responses to Lens on the Past

  1. Nancy Carroll says:

    I like the B&W. Would love to see the original. I took a great shot of a lens in a lighthouse in Oregon on our northwest trip. Loved the blue/green color. A fun subject for sure!

  2. Chris Wendt says:

    Crisp! Flawlessly rendered…well done, especially on the interest level, Phil/

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